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Monday, January 11, 2010

Bicker Bicker Bicker

This past week has been somewhat difficult for everybody in the house. For some reason, Kira and Marisa are in a state of constant turmoil. The level of bickering and sniping has accelerated continually throughout the week. I'm not certain if the cause is the cold weather and being at home, or if they just don't feel well. We've managed to get out of the house over the last few days, but the bickering still goes on. In fact, even when we are out and about at the favorite local play places, the girls still bicker. At McDonald's - they argued over who was taking up the most space at the table. At DACs - they argued over who got more toys out of the machine. In the car - they argue about EVERYTHING.

I managed to employ the Grandma's in my efforts to cure the bicker bug. Grandma Janet took Kira one day so that Marisa would be alone with Mommy. Grandma Shari took Marisa one day so Kira would be at home by herself. In the absence of the other sibling, each child was nothing less than a perfect angel. Unfortunately, even two days of separation have not been enough to quell their rivalry.

Today, I am waging war on the bicker bug by doing some much needed research. My current methods are not working too well, so I need some new ideas. (Feel free to share your suggestions...)

Here is what I have found so far.

1) Don't get involved unless there is potential for harm. As the parent, it is important to force the children to work out their own differences without parental intervention.  (Mom Note: I'm not so sure I agree with this. Part of raising children is teaching them how to be respectful and civilized, even when they are unhappy.)

2) If they are fighting over an object, the best solution is to remove the object. Parental possession of said object will end the argument. (Mom Note: This has become a highly popular method around here. Unfortunately, my selection of "possessed" objects is growing much faster than I would like to admit. The kids just move on to arguing over the next object of desire.)

3) Send them to their room. (Mom Note: I actually read somewhere a solution that I believe may come in handy in the future. Sentence the brawlers to their room - even if it is a shared room - for the remainder of the day. Serve them their meals in their room. Force them to be together. If you've ever seen the original Parent Trap movie, you will recall that the two rivals of the movie were sentenced to isolation - TOGETHER - where they learned how to get along. At 5 and 3, I think the girls are a bit young for a measure this extreme. However, in a couple of years there is no doubt I will use this technique.)

One last thing - though I did not find this in any of my research. When all else fails, apply liberal amounts of love and chocolate. After all, chocolate cures all ills (and so does a bit of extra TLC.)


Jen said...

My parents employed the Force Them To Spend Time Together approach. I'm not sure how well it worked we hardly talk to one another as adults.

Web Graphic Design said...

Hi..nice to hear from you.Read the post with full attention.The kid's bickering is a matter of concern truly.Liked the method adopted by you in order to tackle.One of it will surely serve to solve the matter.Thanks for the details.

John said...

The love and chocolate approach sounds best to me :-) Good luck!

Petula said...

Sorry to hear about the bickering. I confiscate objects/toys as well. That usually works. Another that works for me is forcing the children to be in a different room than the other. They normally start calling and crying for the other one as if they can't breath without that presence. Pretty funny. I also try to avoid intervening because I believe after you teach them the basics they are capable of implementing. I also wait until screams are deafening before I intervene. LOL

BastiSimonandSam said...

My boys tease each other endlessly and fight over toys sometimes. But it's the rough play that gets to me. They're boys and loves rough play but then they end crying or worse, accidentally hurting each other. Hence, when I'm alone with them, I can't keep them in the same room, especially with my one-year old around because he might get squashed, hahaha, with his brothers constant running and fighting. To keep peace in the house and my sanity and temper intact, I usually send one of them to their grandma for the day, until I have someone with me to watch over them. After being separated for a day or a couple of hours, they usually hug each other when one of them comes home, and there's peace in the house for a couple of hours, until they start teasing each other again. It's just a cycle. I'm getting used to it. Hope they outgrow this soon!